From Participatory Seed Production to Self-sufficient Sustainable Seed System for Rice

Under National Seed Project, Farmer’s Participatory Seed Production was taken up with the involvement of farmers of Mahanga block. In 2013-14, seed production of variety Pooja had been taken up in an area of 50 acres at Goudagop, Mahanga, Odisha with an agreement with Mahanga Krushak Vikash Manch. About 368.72 q seed that qualified for TL Seed Standard were procured and after processing 376.20 q seeds were sold to the farmers as TL Seed. In 2014-15, seed production of variety Pooja and Gayatri had been taken up in an area of 80 and 20 acres, respectively, at Goudagop, Mahanga, Odisha. About 874.368 q seed that qualified for TL Seed Standard were procured and which after processing were sold to the farmers as TL Seed. In 2015-16, Farmer’s Participatory Seed Production was taken up in two villages namely Goudagop, (Mahanga) and Bhandilo, (Kendrapara) in agreement with Mahanga Krushak Vikash Manch and Mahatma Gandhi Farmer’s Club respectively. Seed production involved four popular varieties of NRRI viz., Pooja, Sarala, Gayatri and Swarna sub-1. About 1005.751 q seed that qualified for TL Seed Standard were procured and after processing were sold to the farmers as TL Seed.

Although, Participatory Seed Production model has a lot of advantages, it lacks the element of sustainability and scalability. It is heavily dependent on NRRI for sustaining which is not possible to carry out for a long time. Hence, the model was modified to incorporate sustainability and scalability.  The revised model was called Self-sufficient Sustainable System of Seed for Rice (4S4R). This system has taken into the consideration the problems of formal seed system and provides solutions using
IT and FPO in 4S4R model which will make seed available at local level to all farmers according to their need, in right quantity, of right quality, with lower cost of production & supply and with timely delivery which present Formal Seed System has failed to deliver.

    Dr. AK Nayak, Director (Acting) addressing the participants           Dr. GAK Kumar, PI of the project addressing the participants

4S4R (Self-sufficient Sustainable System of Seed for Rice)
model was capitalized and operationalized. As a result 4S4R model was implemented on project mode with the financial assistance from Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi in Mahanga block itself. To begin a One day Awareness Programme cum Workshop was organized on 4S4R (Self-sufficient Sustainable Seed System for Rice) on 27 July 2016 at ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha. The programme was inaugurated by Dr. AK Nayak, Director (Acting) in presence of scientists, farmers and state officials. Dr. GAK Kumar, PI of the project, explained that the programme aimed at creating awareness about the 4S4R concept which focuses on local seed production, processing and marketing system.

A section of audience

The objectives of the programme include i) Developing 4S4R Paddy Seed Production Portal having Paddy Seed Production Expert System for Odisha; GIS based solutions for planning paddy seed production at block level using land and resources maps; MIS for seed demand, seed availability, seed price and seed supply for local marketing; and mobile based solutions for farm advisory service for seed production
by farmers group. ii) Developing participatory training module on paddy seed production and FPO formation. iii) Imparting trainers training on paddy seed production and FPO formation to KVK staff and block level agriculture officers and iv) Developing FPO consisting of farmer-producers group, processing unit and marketing unit at block level. SWOT analysis and Analytical Hierarchy Process were employed to prioritise the issues related to local seed system. Lecturettes were delivered by Dr. GAK Kumar, PI, Dr. RK Sahu, CoPI and Shri MK Sharma, DAO Salepur during the workshop. The programme ended with vote of thanks by Dr. BC Patra, ITMU.

ICAR-NRRI developed Mobile app “riceXpert”
The ICAR-NRRI ‘ricexpert’ App provides information to farmers in real time on insect pests, nutrients, weeds, nematodes and disease-related problems, rice varieties for different ecologies, farm implements for different field and post harvest operations. It is a web-based application systems which facilitates flow of information from the farmer to the farm scientist and get their instant solution. Farmers can use this App as a diagnostic tool in their rice fields and make customize queries for quick solution of their problems by sending text, photo and recorded voice and solution received through SMS.

                                          Different features of ‘ricexpert’ app

The App is developed for Android platform and can be downloaded from Google Play Store or from or from web portal. This APP is very useful tool for the researchers, students and village level workers working on rice crop.

At present, around 5000 users have downloaded the app and being used by them. Around 145 queries from the users have been received from the users and being addressed by panel of experts of NRRI and the solution are being sent to them through SMS.

ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack releases High protein rice variety CR Dhan 310

The ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack has developed a high protein rice variety CR Dhan 310 with an average 10.3% protein in milled rice, by improving the popular high yielding variety Naveen. It is now released by the Central Variety Release Committee. Rice is one of the most important staple foods, particularly for the Asians, but it is generally low in grain protein content (6-8%), which is the lowest among cereals. Hence, protein malnutrition in poor population for whom rice is staple food is a serious nutritional problem. The research on developing the high protein rice started, when the  ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack identified one accession (ARC10075) from Assam Rice Collection as high grain protein content (GPC) donor and used in three repeated backcrossing with recurrent parent, Naveen followed by generation advancement and selection for identification of introgression lines. Ten high yielding introgression lines were grown in the same experimental plot at the experimental farm of the National Rice Research Institute in rabi 2014 and kharif 2014 under standard agronomic package and practices. All lines had significantly higher GPC and protein yield than their corresponding high yielding parent with acceptable grain quality. Among these lines, CR Dhan 310 (IET 24780) was identified as high protein rice variety with an average GPC of 10.3% in milled rice in multi-locational testing (under AICRIP-Biofortification trial).

              Field view of CR Dhan 310                                 Grain and polished rice of high protein
                                                                                            rice variety CR Dhan 310

The average grain yield of this variety at national level in the multi-locational testing was 4483 kg/ha, where in it outperformed the yield-check, Samba Mahsuri by registering yield superiority of 6.81%. It also performed at par with the other national check IR 64 and local check, Naveen. It was found tolerant or moderately tolerant to leaf blast, brown spot, sheath rot, stem borer, gall midge biotype 1 and leaf folder. This high protein rice variety has been identified for release for Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and assigned a national identity number, IC 614804 by NBPGR, New Delhi. It has long panicle with medium slender grains. It is medium early (123 days) with semi-dwarf (110 cm), compact plant type and has good initial growth and tillering ability. The variety has very high head rice recovery (65%) and good cooking quality with an alkali spreading value of 4 and intermediate amylose content (24.7%). It also contains moderate level of Zn (15 ppm) in milled rice. This variety is higher in glutelin fraction and essential amino acids such as lysine and threonine compared to its parent, Naveen, which ensures better nutritional value and gut function in human. As this is not only a high yielding variety, but protein rich too, it would prove to be a good source of nutrition for the people who mainly depend on rice for their nourishment.

Successful integression of IPM package in farmers’ participatory seed production field of  favourable  lowland ecology

Seed treatment of Pooja and Gayatri varieties with 2% carbendazim before sowing and need based application of 0.5% neem oil + 2% detergent liquid or 0.05% imidacloprid or 2% chlorpyrifos as foliar spray for swarming caterpillar /case worm/BPH/YSB high brood  kept the rice crop pest and disease free in on-farm IPM testing. Monitoring of pest occurrence was the key factor leading to success which ensured treatment at the initial stage of crop infestation/infection. Quality pesticide/botanical played an important role for the success .

Location :                Mahanga block, Cuttack District

Area :                     100 Acres:

Years of work :        Kharif 2013, 2014, 2015

Bio-intensive IPM practice with ITK-based botanicals for rice pest management

Keeping in view of the aesy acceptance of tribal farmers, several plants identified through ITKs and validated scientifically for their effectiveness against different insect pests of rice, were introduced through bio-intensive IPM in tribal area of Nilgiri block , Balasore district, Odisha since 2007 through a DST project under tribal Subplan (Mayabini Jena, SP/TSP/2006). The effective plants are – Neem (Azadirachta indica), Karanja (Pongamia pinnata), Water pepper (Polygonum hydropiper), Parasi (Cleistanthus collinus), Wild sugarcane (Saccharum  spontaneum) and Kochila (Strychnus nux-vomica). The refined ITKs from the Institute are successfully being utilized by the farmers for pest management during kharif season in a holistic approach of integreting suitable varieties and addessing to nutrient deficiency.

Location:                 Nilgiri block, Balasore district

Area :                     About 100 Acres

                        Years of work:         2007-2015

Bael and Tulsi aqueous control blast disease in farmers field
Severe leaf blast occurred in the rice field of a farmer from village Bhairpur in Cuttack district. The intensity of the disease ranged between 65% and 75% on rice variety Lalat. The environmentally safer technology, developed at CRRI to control rice blast disease, comprising of the aqueous extract of Bael leaf @ 25 g/litre of water and steamed aqueous extract of Tulsi leaf @ 25 g/litre of water was sprayed in the blast infested field. The farmer repeated this spray after 10 days. On the subsequent visit after 15 days, it was observed that the blast disease was successfully and effectively controlled. The rice crop had registered, an 80% to 85% recovery as compared to 45% recovery in ediphenphos (Hinosan) sprayed field.

Enhancing Farm Income and Employment Opportunity through Mushroom Cultivation
Shri Jayant Kumar Rout of Bhatpada village in Cuttack district, with a small landholding of 1.18 ha, started growing paddy straw mushroom during kharif season and dhingri mushroom during rabi season in a small area (375 sq. ft.) in 1998 under the able guidance of the CRRI scientists. This gave him an additional income of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. Encouraged by the profitability of mushroom cultivation, he expanded it to 3500 sq. ft. area and earned a net profit of Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. In 2003 and 2004, he further expanded the area under mushroom farming and earned a net profit of Rs 80,000. He was motivated to undergo a training on "Mushroom spawn production" at Bhubaneswar in 2003. Subsequently in 2004, Shri Rout was able to set up a spawn production unit with financial support from the CRRI under a project funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and earned a net profit of Rs 10,000. Now, he is not only producing the spawn for his own requirement but also supplying it to the nearby villages and helping in generating rural employment. He has further expanded the mushroom cultivation and is expected to get a net profit of Rs1,20,000, in addition to Rs 60,000 from selling the spawn. The CRRI recognized Shri Jayant Kumar Rout as a progressive mushroom farmer.

Orissa Farmer Succeeds in Commercial Rice-Fish Farming with CRRI Technology
Shri Sunakar Mishra of village Mahisara under Dharmasala block and Jajpur district in Orissa has developed a 35 acres large rice-fish farm following the technology developed at CRRI, Cuttack. He has availed a loan amount of Rs 53 lakh for mainly the land shaping and some amount (Rs 3.70 lakh) for seeds of rice, fish and prawn, out of the total Rs 93.52 lakh sanctioned by State Bank of India, Jajpur Town Branch. The farmer purchased a Pocoline Hitachi Machine (LNT 90) and did entire earth work in the farm. The project includes a subsidy amount of Rs 20 lakh from Agricultural Production and Investment Corporation Limited (APICOL), Orissa to be released after completion of the scheme. Shri Mishra grows CRRI semi-deepwater rice varieties (Varshadhan, Durga) along with around 3 lakhs juveniles of fresh water prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) and 2 lakhs fry of fish (Catla, Catla catla and Rohu, Labeo rohita). Vegetables (Bitter gourd, okra, ridge gourd), tuber crops and pulse (Pigeon pea) are being grown on wide bunds (8 meter) all around. The farmer plans to grow around 10,000 improved Guava and 2,000 tissue cultured Banana, 200 Coconut plants, besides agro-forestry with 2,000 Sisso (Dalbergia sisso) plants. Shri Mishra expects an annual return of Rs 60 lakhs from the farm and is confident of refunding the entire released loan amount in the first year itself. Further, the farmer also visualizes phase by phase utilization of Rs 2.2 crores for farm and other infrastructures development in his total 60 acres area and desires to take up commercial farming of rice including quality rice, fish, prawn, horticultural crops, plantation crops and agro-forestry in the farm with expert advice of CRRI scientists.
The farmer get a net income of Rs 16 lakh from rice-fish-prawn and other crops. In the year 2007-08 the farmer took another Rs 60 lakh of loan and expanded and renovated the area to a total area of 65 acre, these includes 3 farms in which rice-fish farming is done in two farms of 55 acre (35+20 acre) and fresh water prawn is being grown in 10 acre area. He has planted 350 saplings of improved mango variety "Amrapali", besides, coconut and other agro-forestry plants on bunds. He also growing number of vegetable crops on bunds. He has a plan to integrate the poultry component this year and expects much more increase in income.

Vandana—A Pre-cyclone Rice for the Benefit of Coastal Farmers in Orissa

Coastal part of Orissa frequently faces cyclone of different intensities, particularly in the months of September to November resulting in the damage of wet season’s rice and other field crops to varying degrees.  In the end of October 1999, the super cyclone devastated the coastal districts of Orissa, specially Ersama block of Jagatsinghpur district causing total damage of field crops and animals besides, houses and human lives to greater extent. In such unpredictable, adverse situation, the growing of contingent field crops before cyclone will be an appropriate approach for providing food and nutritional security to the farm families. Keeping this in view and also with an aim of restoration of the devastated farming sectors in the super cyclone affected areas of two blocks, Ersama in Jagatsinghpur district and Astaranga in Puri district of Orissa, a project entitled “Management of Coastal agro-ecosystem in super cyclone affected areas in Orissa” was initiated in June 2001.  This project for a period of 3 years with funding from NATP to the extent of Rs 195.62 lakhs, is a multidisciplinary and multi institutional activity with CRRI, Cuttack as lead centre and eight other cooperating centers, involving all the ICAR Institutes/Regional Stations and Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology located at Bhubaneswar.


The concept of pre-cyclone rice was conceived for the first time, in addition to many other programmes, especially with the growing of early rice variety ‘Vandana’ (90 days duration) in upland and medium land situations.  A total of 100 kg quality seed of this variety was distributed to 19 farmers including the seed production farmers (10) in both target areas.  One among these farmers was Mr Seikh Mohammad, about 60 years old, in the village of Chaulia, Ersama block.  He belongs to marginal group of farmers with 3 acres of land.  He cultivated rice ‘Vandana’ in the wet season of 2002, in 252m2 area of medium land. The nursery was raised on June 8, 2002 and the healthy rice seedlings of 20 days old were transplanted on June 28, 2002. This rice crop was raised with a fertilizer schedule of 60 kg N, and 30 kg each of P2O5 and K2O per ha. The nitrogenous fertilizer was given in two splits, 50% at basal and the rest after 30 days.  The major insect pest was gundhibug, at flowering stage of the crop. He controlled the pest of gundhibug by two sprays with the insecticide monocrotophos @ 0.5 kg ai/ha.  The rice crop was harvested in the first of September, after 90 days of seeding.  Mr. Mohammad realized a rice grain yield of 167 kg in 252 m2 area, that was with an estimated yield of 6.6 t/ha. Other farmers in the project areas obtained a grain yield in the range of 4 to 5 t/ha with in a 3 month period.  These farmers were benefited by growing rice ‘Vandana’ and harvesting good quantity of rice within a short period of 90 days.  This strategy would held the farmers to escape the bad effects of a possible cyclone in the months of September to November, which occur frequently in Orissa.


This strategy of the project has created greater awareness among the farmers for growing the early rice variety ‘Vandana’. All the adopted farmers are keeping the seeds of this variety for use of the Wet season of 2003.  Mr. Seikh Mohammad grew this variety, even in the dry season 2003, to produce more quantity of seeds.  About 100 farmers will grow this rice variety ‘Vandana’, by collecting seeds from the adopted farmers. By the end of this project period, it is expected that a large number of farmers will accept this rice variety ‘Vandana’.  The cultivation of ‘Vandana’ and similar varieties with early duration will facilitate in the built up of enough reserve food before cyclone occurs in the months of September-November.


Production Technologies Refined through CRRI led IVLP-TAR Brought Prosperity in the life of Rainfed Farmer

In eastern India, many rainfed rice farmers have small and marginal land holdings with meager resources.  Rice is the staple food crop, grown under different land situations.  These ecologies are depended mostly of rainfall and are therefore subject to both moisture deficit (upland) and excess (lowland to flood-prone) situations.  The productivity of rice on these lands is generally poor and especially, under rainfed condition, it is distressingly low.


Nearly about 70% of the available agricultural production technologies are not adopted by the farmers due to various constraints, from biophysical to socio-economic conditions operating at the farm level.  Most important reasons for low  level of acceptance of the technologies are—that they are not economically viable, not operationally feasible, not stable, not matching with farmer’s needs and not compatible with existing farming systems.


Considering this conjuncture, the evaluation of the on-farm farmers’ participatory traits was conducted during 1999-2002 and refined some of the production technologies related to rainfed rice in respect of varieties and their response to method of stand establishment, weed management and nutrient management through Institute Village Linkage Programme in rainfed areas of Cuttack district, Orissa.


Sri Judhistir Behera from Berena village is having one area each of rainfed upland and lowland areas. With a total of 8 family members (3 working and 5 non-working), he takes up rice in those two acres of land.  In a year, he used to get hardly 5-8 q of rice, which was not sufficient to feed his entire family members.  In order to manage the entire family and gain better livelihood, he and his sons worked as casual labourers in other fields. Then, the core team members of IVLP encouraged him to take up rice cultivation in his 2 acres of land, by adopting the refined technologies.  Of course, in the first year the team provided him technical advice and critical inputs required for various cultural interventions.


In his one acre of upland area, he cultivated Vandana variety, which matures in 90 days, having drought tolerance and weed smothering ability in the early days of growth.  The seeds at the rate of 75 kg/ha were sown in the second week of June in rows (20 cm apart), behind the country plough.  At the time of sowing he applied 2 t/ha FYM and 20 kg each of P2O5 and K2O/ha.  Nitrogen @30 kg/ha was applied in two equal splits-half at 3 weeks after sowing and another half at 6 weeks after sowing. Weeds were managed by adopting integrated weed management package i.e. running finger weeder in between lines after 20 days and one hand weeding at 30 days after germination.


In lowland area, he took up semi-dwarf photosensitive variety Gayatri in kharif and hybrid PHB 71 in rabi, by utilizing spring water flowing by the side of his land.  Better crop establishment was achieved by line transplanting and the application of 40-20-20 kg NPK/ha in rainfed lowlands and, 80-40-40 kg NPK/ha for dalua/summer rice.


Within a period of one year, Shri Behera could produce 40 q of rice (12 q from upland, 18 q from lowland during kharif and 20 q from dalua/summer season) from his two acres of land.  In addition to rice he could also produce vegetables like tomato, poi, cucumber etc. in the upland area, after harvest of rice, which was sufficient for his family and helped him to earn some additional income too.  By adopting this rice based cropping system of cultivation during the last two years, Shri Behera could sustain the same level of production besides generating year round employment opportunities for the entire family members. With better opportunities for livelihood, neither he nor his family members are going to others’ fields to work as casual labourers.  In the Berena village, he is one of the many farmers who got benefited by the IVLP-TAR project, operating in rainfed areas of Cuttack district under NATP.


Control of the Most Destructive Rice Blast Disease by Botanicals

A report of the “Mysterious disease affects paddy cultivation in Ganjam (district of Orissa)” appeared in “The Times of India” on 22 August 2002.  A team of scientists from CRRI visited along with the State Government Agricultural Officials and observed the occurrence of severe epidemic, caused by the fungal pathogen Pyricularia grisea in the Gajapati (Chhatrapur), Ganjam and Perhampur regions of Orissa.  The epidemic caused serious damage to the rice seedlings in nursery as well as the transplanted crops in vast area of the Districts. The high yielding cultivar, Swarna, grown in about 75% of the total nursery sown area (10,000 ha approx) was suffered the most, leading to 70-100% damage of seedlings.  The disease was aggravated by the favourable weather conditions, like scanty rainfall, drought conditions, and the susceptible host coupled with sufficient fungal inoculum load.


The scientists from CRRI demonstrated the effectiveness of botanical extract based technology, developed for the control of rice blast at this Institute.  The botanical extracts were prepared from the locally and commonly available leaves of the plants, Aegle marmelos (Bael) or Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi). The method of extract preparation was also explained to the group of the farmers.  After learning this extract procedure, they prepared the botanical extract and use as per the scientific recommendations to control this disease.  Effective communication was made to appraise the farmers of this technology through the active cooperation by, the state agriculture extension machinery, mass media like TV (ETV), AIR, distribution of pamphlets, leaflets in local language and the group meetings.  As a result of this approach, a large number of farmers used this technology and benefited by this technology to control successfully the most destructive rice disease, the blast.


Both the plants, A. marmelos (Bael) and O. sanctum (Tulasi) considered to be the sacred plants are generally available to the farmers and can be grown easily.  The extracts from these plants can be easily prepared by farmers themselves and utilized at the time of need.  The botanical extract-based technology can thus be deployed as an effective strategy of integrated disease management. These botanical extracts are non-hazardous, environmentally safer, locally available, renewable and easily accessible at the time of need for controlling rice blast disease, as against the synthetic fungicides such as Carbendazim, Ediphenphos etc. which are presently in use.